The Inspector-General of Police Monitoring Unit, on Thursday, arrested five officials of the Lagos State Mobile Court for allegedly extorting motorists.

It was gathered that the officials had paraded themselves as personnel of the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences to extort motorists over the use of face masks.

It was gathered that the modus operandi of the officials was to write on their vehicles ‘task force’ and move in convoy to arrest and extort motorists on the pretext of enforcing the state government’s directive on the use of face masks.

These officials had on Tuesday extorted a motorist, Clara Oguguo, in the Ikeja area of the state for allegedly not wearing a face mask.

Oguguo said that the officials impounded her vehicle and claimed that she would be issued with a ticket of N50,000.

She added that the officials later collected the sum of N10,000 from her.

She said, “I was on my way to the market on Tuesday when I met the task force officials around the Guinness area and they stopped me for not wearing a face mask and I told them that I forgot it at home.

“They took my car to the PWD area and parked it there, and when I asked them what I should do, the junior officers said I would have to meet their boss.

“When the boss came, he said he was supposed to issue a ticket of N50,000 to me but I should just pay N10,000, which I paid on Thursday.

“After paying the money, I reported to the IG Monitoring Unit and they came to arrest the officers.”

When contacted, the Chairman of the task force, Olayinka Egbeyemi, denied the involvement of officials of the agency in the scam, adding that his personnel were currently in charge of preventing possible attacks on residents.

He said, “The suspects are not from the task force, but they are from the mobile court and are supposed to be protecting the magistrates. What happened was that some vehicles were just donated to them and instead of painting the vehicles black, they used our colour to mislead people that they are task force officials. I have planned to resolve that issue.”